Please suggest how to improve Cosmetic Visual Inspections

Q

qahardlife

#1
I find it very often that our production operators are not very efficient in doing visual cosmetic inspection. The usual CA done is by showing the rejected part to them and alerting them to the defect and I find it rather reactive response. Of course we have put up photos of common reject to help them but is there a more effective way of helping the operators to do a better job?
 
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Mikishots

Trusted Information Resource
#2
Re: Pls suggest how to improve cosmetic visual inspections

A method to consider:

1. Meet with them formally in a classroom setting and go through the key characteristics of the parts they inspect. You will need to provide any drawings or other documentation that defines what the minimum acceptable appearance needs to be.
2. Be clear in stating WHY these cosmetic standards are to be met (Customer? Design? Just because?). If you can't describe this to them, they cannot be expected to inspect to them.
3. Have some hands-on examples of defects and be prepared to explain why they are not acceptable.

Since you are dealing with cosmetic inspections, there will always be a degree of interpretation because you're dealing with a degree of aesthetics - it's a quantitative exercise. Your job is to provide a solid baseline for them to follow. If they decide they want to reject a part, have it passed through a second person (chargehand, a QC inspector, MRB).

It's obvious from your post that someone is catching these after production and before shipping/integration. In your organization, who has been made responsible for identifying the defects? Are you planning on doing away with inspectors? Having someone inspect their own work is inherently risky, and can typically result in what you're seeing; no one likes to reject their own work.
 
W

Wilderness Woody

#3
Re: Pls suggest how to improve cosmetic visual inspections

Mikishots boiled it down to the necessary steps, including the essential buy-in by the operators themselves. In order to improve effectiveness and efficiency, you need to put some time into evaluating the process, product and staff. Depending upon the actual product, you may have very different cosmetic defect potentials that need to be addressed.

Defining what constitutes a defect and the range or extent that is still acceptable is very important. There is nothing worse than an "opinion" that varies from day to day.

As a process of inspection, look at breaking the steps down and documenting the requirements for orientation of the product, lighting, operator... standardizing where possible. Use of reference style sheets, photo flash cards sets, clear film overlays and directional lighting are tools that can aid inspection.
 
#4
Re: Pls suggest how to improve cosmetic visual inspections

I find it very often that our production operators are not very efficient in doing visual cosmetic inspection. The usual CA done is by showing the rejected part to them and alerting them to the defect and I find it rather reactive response. Of course we have put up photos of common reject to help them but is there a more effective way of helping the operators to do a better job?
Welcome here qahardlife and a very good opening question ~~~
Cosmetic visual inspection is a challenge.
To effectively make your operators perform well and consistently, you need to plan it well.
Visual defects consists of point defects, line defects and area defects
Define them with examples
Define acceptance limits. Like how many point defects, line defects, area defects are permissible per inspection zone.
Define the inspection zones like most visible zone, less visible zone, Inner zone, hidden zones., etc based on your product features and requirements.
Define the inspection lighting
Define the inspection distance
Define the inspection time per zone
Define the viewing angle
With all these train your operators
Select operators having good and consistent vision quality perhaps based on eye tests
Get your requirement and consistency.
Establish baseline across operators.
Cultivate and maintain.
Improve when customer requirement or complaints demand change of criteria.
 
Last edited:

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#5
Also, frequently reiterate that you are always available to answer questions and interpret grey areas. Then, ALWAYS do what you say and be available, without delay, without being grumpy, when they call.

And just pass through their area once or twice a day to make yourself more easily available for questions.
 
Q

qahardlife

#8
I have basic requirement establish and these operators have gone through training before but it just that some operators doesn't seem to be able to pick up the problem which could be due to that these defects do not happen frequently.

some interesting pointers highlighted below.

training - How often should such training be conducted as we find that
operators awareness tend to decrease over time.

lighting environment - is there a standard lighting requirement?

inspection distance & time - these have been determine by customer
usage.
 
D

DRAMMAN

#9
Training frequency is up to you and should be base don what is needed.

I am sure there are studies that indicate the best light conditions for visual inspections. Not uncommon for industries to have special rooms for visual inspection. Very common in automotive. There may be industry standards but I am not sure.
 

Bev D

Heretical Statistician
Leader
Super Moderator
#10
Any opinions on using attribute R&R methods ot evaluate inspectors?
I use this approach on all critical visual inspections. I've found it to be very useful. I treat it like calibrating any measurement equipment. I will have the test done once or twice a year depending on the criticality. Not only does this keep teh operators sharp, it points weak areas for the inspectors and together we can determine how to improve the effectiveness.

in addition to what others have said, when I supervised inspectors I met daily with them to review the defect rates (on a control chart of course), review any new defects or increases in known defect types, review any 'misses' and sought their direct input and engagement in making continual improvements. I also ensured that they were team members on problem solving teams for the defects they caught so they could directly contribute to improvemtns in quality and understand the importance of their daily work. I also helped keep them from beign policeman or disgruntled because 'nothing ever got better'...
 
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